Ventilation is crucial.
"The building of tightly-sealed houses over the last two decades has made it much easier for moisture and dust to collect in homes," Harvard professor Dr. Douglas Dockery notes. Many vapors trapped indoors, from perfumes and air fresheners to formaldehyde from particleboard, irritate asthmatics. When itís fresh or even cold outside, keep windows open a crack to circulate air. On hot days, close windows and use air conditioners to ventilate and filter out smog.
Donít harbor dust mites.
Microscopic dust mites and their droppings are a potent allergen and asthma trigger. One of the best ways to limit the amount of dust mites in your homes are to encase mattresses with impermeable covers. For more tips, see How to Reduce Dust Mites in Your Home.
Eradicate cockroaches and keep clutter to a minimum.
Piles of dirty clothes make a growth environment for mildews and mites; piles of paper attract cockroaches. Remember, you can eliminate household pests without using toxic pesticides.
Maintain humidity below 50 percent.
"Dehumidifying is enormously important, as many asthmatics are highly allergic to mildews and molds," says Harriet Burge, Ph.D., associate professor at Harvard School of Public Health.
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